Sex is an important part in any relationship and an unfulfilled sex life can lead to feelings of rejection and guilt. However, up to 50% of men and 25% of women may experience some kind of sexual problems or loss of sexual desire as a result of diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes one's blood sugar level to become too high, making the body unable to use it properly. This is because the pancreas located in the abdomen is unable to produce any or not enough insulin to help sugar (used as energy) enter your body's cells. There are two types of diabetes that can affect both men and women in adverse ways.
Having a chronic disease can cause anxiety, which can result in sexual dysfunction. However, sexual dysfunction is more common in those with poorly controlled diabetes. Effects can damage the blood vessels and the nervous system causing reduced blood flow and loss of sensation in the sexual organs. This can contribute to vaginal dryness in women and erection difficulties in men. Other factors contributed to diabetes such as heart disease and depression can increase the chances of sexual dysfunction.
Having diabetes doesn't necessarily mean you will automatically develop sexual dysfunction. However, over half of all men with diabetes may be affected and the possibility of problems increases with age. While women with diabetes are twice as likely to experience problems as those without.
Diabetes can be related to fatigue and can interfere with a person's sleep causing a person to feel constantly drained from the effort of coping. Both high and low blood glucose can change a person's mood, energy level and interest in sex.